We're growing up, aren't we!
From a purely technical sense, I can say that my teenage years will officially be over in a couple of months and my 20th birthday will mark the real entry point to a new phase in my life. Or would it? Well, birthdays have never meant a whole lot to me; but since human beings have the tendency to use dates and numbers, no matter how insignificant they are, to indicate new beginnings and old endings, I will do the same. I will make my 20th birthday a new beginning to a new phase in my life. Nothing drastic is going to happen; all I want to do is put a conscious effort into reconsidering my priorities, redefining my convictions, and fine-tuning my behavior towards many things. I want to submerge myself into some sort of an ideological and psychological baptism that will open any closed doors in my mind and allow me to understand things I have never understood before and accept things I have never thought of accepting.
I have to say that approaching and experiencing the early stages of "adulthood" is kinda surreal especially because your childhood years don't really seem that far away. You experience something which is hard to explain, almost a crisscross between the lives of Holden, a young Don Quixote, and Madame Bovary BUT in a 21st century setting and with an Arabic/Islamic slant which makes things even more "phony" and inexplicable than you can imagine!
Hmm, maybe this forward I received from a friend could explain this whole thing a bit better and in more universal terms. You don’t need to be 20 or 20-something to relate to it. Any amount of years, more or less, is long enough to have lived pasts which were once presents and presents which were once only distant futures and that’s all you need to discern certain life patterns frome the before and after experiences. When you're in your twenties, you look back at your teens and childhood with the same nostalgia a 60 years old has when looking back at his or her youthful 40s. It's all relative. Very much so.
They call it the "Quarter-life Crisis." It is when you stop going along with the crowd and start realizing that there are many things about yourself that you didn't know and may not like. You start feeling insecure and wonder where you will be in a year or two, but then get scared because you barely know where you are now.
You start realizing that people are selfish and that, maybe, those friends that you thought you were so close to aren't exactly the greatest people you have ever met, and the people you have lost touch with are some of the most important ones. What you don't recognize is that they are realizing that too, and aren't really cold, catty, mean or insincere, but that they are as confused as you.
You look at your job... and it is not even close to what you thought you would be doing, or maybe you are looking for a job and realizing that you are going to have to start at the bottom and that scares you.
Your opinions have gotten stronger. You see what others are doing and find yourself judging more than usual because suddenly you realize that you have certain boundaries in your life and are constantly adding things to your list of what is acceptable and what isn't. One minute, you are insecure and then the next, secure. You laugh and cry with the greatest force of your life. You feel alone and scared and confused. Suddenly, change is the enemy and you try and cling on to the past with dear life, but soon realize that the past is drifting further and further away, and there is nothing to do but stay where you are or move forward.
You get your heart broken and wonder how someone you loved could do such damage to you. Or you lie in bed and wonder why you can't meet anyone decent enough that you want to get to know better. Or maybe you love someone but love someone else too and cannot figure out why you are doing this because you know that you aren't a bad person.
One night stands and random hook ups start to look cheap.
Getting wasted and acting like an idiot starts to look pathetic.
You go through the same emotions and questions over and over, and talk with your friends about the same topics because you cannot seem to make a decision. You worry about loans, money, the future and making a life for yourself... and while winning the race would be great, right now you'd just like to be a contender!
What you may not realize is that everyone reading this relates to it. We are in our best of times and our worst of times, trying as hard as we can to figure this whole thing out.